Friday, 24 April 2009

World Series, here I come (again)!


For the past two years now, I have been an attendee of the British leg of the Renault World Series, which to motorsport fans and drivers is kind of like GP2 but not exactly as well known or popular. But it's still spawned Heikki Kovalainen, Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel as F1 stars, so it must be doing something right! But still, this is an event that is a great place for any motorsports fan in general to attend. Simple answer - it's free! Yup, that's not a typo. Renault genuinely do give away tickets to these events absolutely free. Who doesn't love a free day out anyways?

So what's it all about? What can you actually see there? Well for a start, there's the main event which are the 2 World Series races of course (1 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday). Then to go alongside that, there's a full program of support races from the Clio Cup, Formula Renault and my personal favourite, the Megane Trophy. Have you seen one of those things?! It's quite simply, as I put it, a standard Renault Megane that's overdosed on steroids. It's such an awesome looking car with huge flared wheel arches, a massive protruding rear wing and a chassis so low to the ground it's unbelieveable. Couple all that to the same howling V6 that the WSR racers use and it's literally heaven on wheels in my book. I absolutely adore the series and the new car, based on the new Megane Coupe, looks stunning. Cannot wait to see that this year!

Apart from the racing, you get some lovely demo runs on track as well from some historic Renault race cars from F1, Le Mans and rally. I should point out the rally car is an R5 Maxi Turbo which is usually driven by Jean Ragnotti, a rally driver and probably professional madman. The guy's skills in a rally car are simply jaw-dropping. He can literally drive a front wheel drive Clio on a rally stage like it's rear wheel drive. Search him YouTube and you'll know what I'm on about. But the big event of the day, apart from the WSR races, has to be the 2 F1 demos, usually showcasing a year old F1 machine in this season's colours. So judging by the pictures I've seen of Renault's roadshows, it's going to be an R28 in that white, yellow and orange paint scheme the current R29s are running around in.

Off track, there's a pitstop challenge, various racing simulators, a driving experience in Clios and plenty of merchandise to have a browse at. Plus, because of the open paddock at Silverstone, across the bridge and behind the pits, you can look at the teams working on the cars and take pictures. There's also a pit walk which takes place before the WSR race, but I've missed it on both occasions and I am determined not to miss it this year! In 2007 the event was held at Donington and last year and this year, as I've just mentioned, it's run at Silverstone. Another good thing is that the tickets allow you to use all of the circuits facilities, which means you can watch the on-track action from the grandstands. Last year, we watched the WSR on the back row of one of the covered grandstands on the pit straight. Lovely and cool, and just about in view of the big TV screens showing the action.

There's a few people from Sidepodcast who don't have the cash to make Goodwood, where another meet-up is going to take place I should imagine, who will be attending the World Series event too, so if you're reading this I hope to see you at some point during the day. As for me, I'll be attending with my dad and some of his friends from when he worked at Toyota, who are a riot to be with. Peter and Gareth have gone with us on both occasions and the latter is such a hilarious guy to be with, especially in the car travelling to and from the circuit. Both times on the way back he has made me laugh so much it's made me cry. That's how much fun I have at these events.

If you think a free day's racing sounds too tempting, then direct your attention to, click the event you're interested in, click the icon in the corner for free tickets, fill in the form and they'll be with you within 6 weeks. If you've never been, I can thoroughly recommend it if you haven't got the money to go to somewhere like Goodwood on the same weekend. A great alternative, if you ask me.


Christine said...

What date is it this year? Doesn't it usually clash with a race? Or am I thinking of something else...

Woodwiss_F1 said...

It's July 4th-5th, which sadly is the same day as Goodwood :(

RubberGoat said...

Have fun Scott - and be sure to cheer on a Kiwi with one of the best names in Motorsport... Chris Van Der Drift :D

Woodwiss_F1 said...

I'll do so on your behalf, Gavin. Although I do like the guy myself. I shall be supporting Greg Mansell myself. :D